Like you, Outdoor Herbivore is concerned about staying healthy and caring for the natural world. We are committed to making healthy food products that address your concerns regarding ingredient safety, pollution, and animal welfare. Caring for the earth and its inhabitants means taking responsibility and creating as little waste and pollution as possible. That is why the majority of ingredients we use are:
Most of us hikers share a deep appreciation for the natural world. This admiration beckons us outdoors into the serene landscape of the mountains, the foothills, the woods, and the sea. These places need us as much as we do them. The organic food movement aligns with our own views of treating mother earth in a responsible and sustainable way. As a result, Outdoor Herbivore is dedicated to farmers and producers who employ organic methods. We do not agree with altering plant seed, hence we do NOT purchase GMO foods. The USDA organic label does not symbolize perfection, but we truly believe it offers a better path to heal our planet, feed the world, and keep us healthy.
Consuming a diet based on natural, whole foods is key to staying healthy and strong, especially for hikers or athletes. Non-natural substances function as extra toxins for the body to remove and interfere with the body's ability to produce energy efficiently. Feeding your body clean foods will help keep your digestion and immune system operating at peak performance, so you can too.
The most wholesome foods we can consume come from plants. This is why we use only vegetarian ingredients. A plant food that is truly natural is by definition one that comes directly from a plant, unaltered. This means it should undergo little to no processing after picking. Unfortunately, food manufacturers flood us with packaged foods touting "natural" that are in fact unnatural. Many of these packaged foods are likely to contain artificial flavoring and color agents, additives, fillers, preservatives, and other intentional modifications to condition the food for cheaper manufacturing, bulk, a longer shelf life, and altered taste. Unfortunately, many backpacking foods fit this criteria.
Packaged food can never be as good as fresh. All packaged foods require some processing, such as drying, to make them suited for storage. Outdoor Herbivore believes minimal processing is better. That is why we only purchase whole-grains that undergo limited processing. A less processed food may have a shorter shelf-life, but retains more nutrients for you.
Any food product sealed up in a package loaded with ingredients to prolong its longevity and composition, improve its flavor, smell, appeal, and character, is probably not going to do that for you.
Over 85% of our food ingredients originate within the United States.
100% of our meals are assembled, tested, and packed within the United States.
Over 85% of our ingredients are from the U.S. with the exception of Quinoa, which comes from South America (Bolivia), Coconut (Philippines), Olive Oil (Europe), and a few spices, such as Ginger (Sri Lanka), Allspice (Guatemala), Cinnamon (Indonesia), Chili Powder and Coriander (India). These particular plants & herbs produce a superior flavor when grown from the lands in which they originate. We purchase imported ingredients only from processors we trust, and certified organic and fair-trade if the option is available. Because China’s manufacturing practices are notoriously questionable (given their history of producing tainted products), we do not purchase any ingredients coming from there. We recognize no country’s manufacturing is perfect, but we feel this avoidance best honors your (and our own) concerns.
Food preparation in the wilderness should be simple to prepare and minimize packaging waste. That is why we believe in the concept of “one-pot” trail meals where ingredients are combined together in a single package, poured into a cook pot, and cooked together at once. This requires some extra planning in pairing ingredients with similar hydration times, but this is a challenge we enjoy at Outdoor Herbivore. We are always excited to introduce you to one of our new one-pot trail meal creations.
As producers of “one pot” meals, we believe in lighter weight packaging designed to fit the ingredients inside. Many commercial backpacking food brands package meals in bulky stand-up pouches, with multiple bags inside. Pouches are a great feature for display on retail shelves, or for adding boiling water and consuming from, but not for packing out. That is why we do things a little differently.
Outdoor Herbivore believes that packaging should be for the purpose of efficient transport, rather than boiling water. This is why we use standard resealable bags which are not rated for boiling water. This design saves on space and weight, plus is lighter on the environment and your back. You can also be assured your food will be free of PBA's, BPA, or petrochemical particles. We like to say, "No pouch, less ouch."
Since our packaging requires adding ingredients into a pot or vessel, many people say it is not simple enough because you have to wash dishes. We challenge you to try these Tips for cleaning your pot.
We are honest about ever single ingredient that goes into our meals. We do not play with words to make things seem better than they are. We do not use generic terms such as "spices" to cover up inferior ingredients. We tell you exactly what ingredients constitute our meals on our website and on our packaging.
Nutritional Details - if we don’t know an exact figure for calories, carbohydrates, fat, sodium, we will tell you it is an approximate. Does this mean estimates are guesses? No! All ingredients are weighed by the gram for every single meal we pack. We calculate the nutrition details using the official ingredients database from the FDA, and from any food manufacturers we purchase from. Since our meals have not been analyzed by an official laboratory, we feel it is wrong to state our figures as official, even though our numbers are as accurate as theirs.
A majority of our time spent at Outdoor Herbivore is staying up-to-date on issues surrounding food production. We like to be informed of the latest news concerning GMO crops, tricks manufacturers use to bypass FDA regulations or make junk food appear healthy, health claims/risks, newly approved synthetics that often get labeled as “natural”, the list goes on. Then, we share this information with you.
In an age of rising rates of cancer, auto immune disease, food borne illness and allergies, we are increasingly concerned that food ingredients remain natural and safe.
"Let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be thy food” ~ Hippocrates.